Countries will do better if women do better, said Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador at Large for Women's Issues. Talking to VOA Deewa in a TV interview, Ambassador Russell said girls need to be educated in good quality schools as educated girls are able to look after themselves and help their children, and in turn help all of whole society.
Russell was nominated to head the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in 2013. She also served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education. She said that in her existing role her focus is on making sure that women get equal opportunities in contributing to their country’s economy.
“I want to make sure that women have economic opportunities because if they have those opportunities we see time and again that they make most of it and invest back in their families," she said. "And they do work they make their communities stronger and ultimately their country stronger. No country will ever get as far ahead as it could if doesn’t take advantage of the women who live there.”
Talking about the challenges faced by women in acquiring education in conservative areas like Pakistan and Afghanistan’s border regions, Russell highlighted the efforts Nobel Laureate of Pakistani origin Malala Yousufzai is making.
“Malala is an amazing young courageous woman," Russel remarked. "We see her as a symbol of the strength and potential of girls and the importance of valuing them and we are making sure they have the opportunities to participate. I think many people find that threatening and you know Malala is evidence to that.”
Malala was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban in 2012 for her efforts to promote girls education in areas where sending girls to school is not considered a social norm.